Thursday, 5 June 2008

Cheap Badminton Rackets

Ok, this can mean two things, the first would be a badminton racket made from cheap materials, and the second would be you buying a badminton racket for a cheap price. As in most things in life you generally get what you pay for, so if you pay a small amount of cash for a racquet, you will usually have an inferior product to one which you paid a lot of cash for. Simple really. Cheap badminton rackets can be found all over the place, especially on the internet, and especially on Ebay.

You have a choice to make. Do you just go out a buy a brand new racket made from basic stuff such as steel and aluminium, or buy second hand? A new Yonex entry level racquet will cost around £20-£30, but you can pick up a decent used one for peanuts. In fact at this price you could pick up a decent used racket, which would be much better quality, despite the fact that someone else had already used it. Ebay is full of these hidden little gems, you just have to go through the pain of bidding, which can also be fun.

I choose to buy out of season rackets, ie, last years models, this is where you get the best discounts, just search around the online stores, there are plenty of special offers around because the stores want to get rid of last years stock. If you find a badminton racket that you like you will no doubt want to buy more than one. Sport Discount specialise in multi buys, and this is another way to save some money. Even if there is no advertised discount just e-mail the company and tell them if you want two or three, they ill usually offer some sort of deal. Don't be afraid to ask the question, there are many other stores that will accomodate you if you don't get the required response.

The power sellers on Ebay offer great prices, and they help to push prices down because they have no overheads to worry about. I have seen this in action when i buy my Carlton Aiblade Tours. My favourite Ebay power seller offers these at very low prices, cheaper than all of the more established internet shops. This particular ebay seller must have taken away a lot of their business, so guess what? Yep, the established stores now offer the Airblade Tour at the same price. The problem i have with this, is that i would still buy my racket from the power seller because they offered the cheapest option right from day one. It comes down to loyalty. Of course the delivery has to be spot on, and at a reasonable price.

Because rackets made from cheap materials are quite heavy you can even use this to your advantage, they can be good for training. I use heavy rackets in the off season to help strenghten my wrist, forearm and shoulder muscles. I take a £10 racquet, string it to a high tension (usually the frame will be all over the place!) and away i go. The badminton strings cost more than the racket itself! This is a really cheap way of playing and you still get some control. Just be careful the head does not fly off in mid stroke, which has happened to me.

Another advantage of a cheap badminton racket is that they come with a small head cover. You can also use this for training by keeping the head cover on while you play. This is a great way to test your technique, because if your racket head is not completely in line with the shuttle on impact, it will go nowhere. You can swing all you want, but you have to hit it just right, timing is the essence here. You can use the head cover at the net, to improve your reaction shots, and strengthen your wrist. This is only for more advanced players and not for kids, as the extra strain on your muscles can easily cause injury, so only try this if you think your technique is good enough.

I have also played badminton with a squash racket, the old wooden type with the tiny head. You could probably buy one of these for next to nothing from ebay and use it for training as well. Cheap badminton rackets can be use to your advantage so have a go and experiment.

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